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Although we offer many of the same courses multiple years in a row, VAMPY class offerings are not identical each year. Courses for 2019 will be announced when applications are available. To give you a sense of typical VAMPY classes, below is the list of courses from 2018. 

2018 VAMPY Courses

Below you will find descriptions of the classes offered during VAMPY 2018. After reading the descriptions and noting the qualifying SAT or ACT scores for each class, please write the name of your first, second, and third choices in the spaces provided on the application. It is important that your choices are classes which interest you and to which you are willing to give your best effort for three weeks. If your first choice is filled, you will be placed in the next available choice.

 

Ancient Civilizations

Jan Lanham

Through an in-depth study of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, students will examine the foundations of ancient mythology, technology, philosophy, and government to develop an understanding of the impact of these ideas across time. Using two broad-based simulations and study of ancient daily life, students will use literature, scholarly readings, art projects, dramatizations, and independent research to make connections among the highlights of ancient times. Students will examine the impacts of classical civilizations across the ages, with emphasis on the Renaissance, Neo-classical movements, and the present.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or SAT-W≥500 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Arabic

Lhousseine Guerwane

Arabic is the language of nearly 300 million people, and the Arabic culture is one of the oldest and richest on earth. This class will introduce students to the Arabic language, including writing and reading the Arabic alphabet and calligraphy. Students will develop cultural fluency through studying Arab culture, art, food, cinema, celebrations, and music. The class will partake in debates, role-plays, discussions, field trips, and projects that will enhance knowledge of the Arabic language. Students will also explore the strong cultural ties between Western and Arab cultures and learn about the modern Arab world.

Download Syllabus

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or SAT-W≥500 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

Download Arabic Class Scholarship Application

 

Astronomy

Kevin Dick
 
This course includes historical, practical, and theoretical applications of astronomy. Students construct their own 60 mm refracting telescopes and, in nighttime observing sessions, learn the basics of the night sky: constellations, planets, meteors, and other observational phenomena. During the day, students will study solar astronomy and navigation and lead discussions on astronomical size and scale, the purpose and priorities of a national space program, and the structure and future of our universe. Students will have access to university resources, such as large telescopes, rooftop and remote observatories, and the Hardin planetarium. There is an additional $100 charge for the telescope included with this course. 
 
Prerequisite: Algebra I or equivalent course
Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Biomechanics

Scott Arnett
 
Biomechanics is typically a college course that centers on applying Newtonian mechanics to human movements. Because the course includes the application of physical laws to human performance, including linear and angular kinematics and kinetics, work, power, and energy, a basic understanding of physics is needed. Students will be engaged in physical activities that may include tennis, bowling, baseball, and soccer as we study our own human movements and collect data for analyses. Students will conduct motion analysis research projects and labs, and the culminating experience will be the presentation of a group-designed and conducted biomechanical analysis. A one-day field trip to the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL, is planned. 
 
Prerequisite: Algebra I or equivalent course
Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Chemistry

Susan Morgan

This class, an introduction to general chemistry, explores material equivalent to an accelerated high school chemistry course. Concepts covered include scientific method, qualitative analysis, atomic theory, inorganic nomenclature, stoichiometry, gas laws, solutions, acids and bases, nuclear chemistry, polymer chemistry, and nanotechnology. Class time will be divided between demonstrations, lecture, and laboratory experiments. Students should bring a scientific calculator.

Prerequisite: Algebra I or equivalent course
Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Computer Science

Bryan Knowles

Computer Science is everywhere that logic can be found and an efficient way to solve a problem is needed — computers not necessary. Students will learn the basics of “thinking like a computer,” including sorting, searching, iteration, arrays, efficiency analysis, graph structures, social networks, recursion, trees, hashing, dictionary structures, reduction, and dynamic programming. They will apply these theories to improving real-world problem solutions by considering how computers are built to solve tasks, operating systems internals, compiled languages, interpreted languages, networking, and resource utilization. Activities will include class discussions, demonstrations, team projects, hands-on experiments with logic, and, by the end of the course, building a network of laptops that can help save the world. Students will be introduced to the C, Java, and Python programming languages, though the focus will be on Python.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or ACT-M≥20

 

DNA and Genetics

Melissa Harris

This class focuses on the exciting new world of genetics and how it affects food processing and medical research. After learning the basics of DNA structure and Mendelian genetics, the class will apply this knowledge to food production, horse genetics, and medical research. Students will conduct lab experiments, go on a field trip to a genetics lab, and Skype with geneticists. The future of medicine and food production lies in DNA research.

Download Syllabus

Prerequisite: Algebra I or equivalent course
Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

From Mecca to America: Building Cultural Bridges Through Islamic Metalworks

Mona Hussein and Sandra Bird
 
Students will be introduced to Islamic cultural art forms in order to understand the basic principles underlying Islamic design. They will conduct their own research to identify an Islamic exemplar that inspires personal expression in soft metals. Using various techniques (including repousse, stamping filigree, and encrustation), students will create an original work that conveys the unifying spirit of Islamic design. As students learn to shape metals, they will develop confidence in their own power to shape the future of our collective society.
 
Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or SAT-W≥500 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Humanities

Tracy Inman

The concept of an afterlife is universal. In fact, it has been so important to people throughout the ages that their art, literature, religion, and culture reflect their beliefs. By exploring the afterlife, the class will analyze the changing interpretations and philosophies of different generations, different cultures, and different times. Through classical literary works by such greats as Virgil, Dante, Milton, and Sartre, students will explore, interpret, and appreciate not only the literature and the humanities themselves, but also the age reflected through them.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or SAT-W≥500 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Mathematics

Jane Brantley (This is not a lecture class.)

Each student in this class will have the opportunity to study mathematics starting at his/her own level of mastery. Students with the proper preparation may study Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III, Discrete Mathematics, or other abstract courses. Students will be pretested to ensure proper placement. Emphasis will be on the logical sequence of concepts and skills rather than memorization of facts and formulas. Instruction is individualized, and students work independently at their own pace. Students move to new chapters as they demonstrate mastery by scoring at least 80% on chapter tests. Students must enjoy mathematics and be able to work independently to gain the most from this class.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or ACT-M≥20

 

Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

Ron Skillern

This class chronicles Adolf Hitler’s early life, his rise to power, and his policy of anti-Semitism, focusing on how the members of the Nazi Party saw themselves and the role of propaganda in molding popular opinion. The class will employ a variety of activities and teaching methods: lecture, discussion, video, primary documents, debate, mock trial, library research, and guest speakers. The course will conclude with an examination of present-day manifestations of racism in both America and Europe.A one-day field trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, is planned which will require an additional $150 per student.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Physics

Kenny Lee

Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of Newtonian mechanics as well as electricity, magnetism, waves, light, and optics. Development of the concepts will be stressed as well as the development of laboratory skills and mathematical problem-solving. Practical application will be emphasized through student involvement in laboratory experiments and demonstrations. Students should bring a scientific calculator capable of calculating sine, cosine, and tangent.

Prerequisite: Algebra I or equivalent course and some experience with right-angle trigonometry
Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-S≥21

 

Pop Culture

Justin Mitchell

Want to get a new perspective on history? This class will travel through the decades of the 20th and 21st centuries examining, the history of America through pop culture. Various genres of music, film, sports, literature, and fashion as well as fads from the past and present will be explored. Students will discover how media influences culture, examine what makes things pop, and research the lasting effects of pop culture on society. A one-day field trip to Washington, DC, is planned which will require an additional $150 per student.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or SAT-W≥500 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT- ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Presidential Politics

Dennis Jenkins

This class will explore a variety of issues and decisions that American presidents have faced since 1960. An emphasis will be given to the more pivotal decisions, events, and elections that have impacted our nation’s history during the last 60 years, from the presidency of John F. Kennedy through Donald Trump. Students will participate in debates, discussions, and projects that enhance their knowledge of presidential politics with the goal of improving students’ analytical and critical thinking skills. They will also examine political campaign strategies, platforms, commercials, debates, court cases, and satire in presidential elections. A one-day field trip to Washington, DC, is planned which will require an additional $150 per student.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or SAT-W≥500 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT- ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Problems You’ve Never Solved Before

Catherine Poteet

Have you ever had to mail a potato chip? Build a bridge out of paper? Drop an egg from four stories high with only a few household materials to safely protect it? This class is designed to stretch problem-solving and creative thinking skills. Students will be required to use evidence and deductive reasoning to solve unique, real-world problems through the engineering design process of creating, testing, and improving.

Download Syllabus

Prerequisite: Algebra I or equivalent course
Qualifying Scores: SAT-M≥520 or SAT-CR≥510 or ACT-M≥20 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-S≥21 or ACT-R≥21

 

Writing

Audrey Harper

This language-intensive, inquiry-driven course will be conducted as a reading/writing workshop. Work will center around individual literacy goals and inquiry focus wherein students choose writing and reading related to their area of inquiry in exposition, poetry, fiction, and argument. The writing process will be emphasized as well as learning to read as a writer. The culminating activity will be a presentation of multigenre-multimodal projects — writing that integrates fiction, poetry, and prose in a multimodal fashion to communicate learning on a self-identified topic of inquiry.

Qualifying Scores: SAT-CR≥510 or SAT-W≥500 or ACT-ENG≥20 or ACT-R≥21

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Dates:  June 23 - July 13, 2019

 

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 Last Modified 10/11/18